Two and a half years.

That’s how long the FBI spent listening to Louie Louie by The Kingsmen.

Two and a half years, over and over… bah-da-da, da-da, dah-da-da, da-da… with their heads next to the speakers, trying to decipher the slurred lyrics.

Because, according to a rumour, the lyrics were filthy… really filthy. The kind of stuff that, in the mid-60s, could land you in prison.

(This was back when Tropic of Cancer was banned and cops were arresting Lenny Bruce on stage.)

Eventually, the FBI gave up. 

But here’s the thing…

They were so focused on the singer that they never once noticed that, 54 seconds into the record, you can hear the drummer shout “Fuck” because he’d dropped one of his sticks.

OK, so what’s this got to do with marketing?

Two words: tunnel vision.

And tunnel vision is something I see in business owners all the time.

The wrong way to solve a marketing problem

These business owners identify a marketing problem, decide how to fix it, then look for someone to implement that fix. 


To most people, I’m the “Increase your profits from your Google ads” guy. And, yes, I can do that. I’ve been doing that for the last 14 years.

So companies come to me and ask me to optimise their PPC accounts – because that’s how they’ve defined their problem. 

That’s tunnel vision.

And here’s the problem…

If I can only optimise their account, I only have two levers to pull: ad impressions and click rate. Now there are many ways to pull those levels, but they’re still only two levers.

So it ties one hand behind my back, ties my ankles together, puts a blindfold on me…

So, while I can get them a result – sometimes even doubling or tripling their PPC profits – that result is limited.

But here’s the thing: their real problem isn’t traffic. What they really want is more profit. How we get there doesn’t really matter – or, at least, it shouldn’t.

And, if we define the problem that way – and put me in charge of the strategy – I have far more levers to pull. 

You want more sales? I can optimise your PPC account.

But I can also re-write your landing pages and increase sales that way.

Or  I can optimise your sign up form or checkout process – and that’ll increase your conversion rate.

Or I can add an upsell so customers spend more at point of purchase – which increases your average profit per sale.

Or I can write emails that’ll produce more sales from your existing customer list.

All of those things… and more… are available if, when you define the problem correctly.

So how do you do that? 

There are two steps. 

3 step system for correctly defining your problem

Step 1 involves asking three questions:

Q1:  “What do I really want here?”

So, let’s say you answer, “I want more traffic.”

Then you put your answer into the next question:

Q2: “What would having more traffic get me?”

You’d probably answer, “More visitors means more sales.”

Then you feed that answer into the final question:

Q3: “And what does more sales get you?”

“It increases our profits.”

Bingo! That’s what you really want: increased profits.

Give yourself multiple ways to win

Step 2 is to come up with multiple strategies to achieve this.

So, don’t just come up with the most obvious way to get what you want.

Instead, stop, take a breath, and ask yourself, “What are 7 ways to achieve this?” 

Because, if you force yourself to come up with seven different solutions, two things happen:

First, there are six chances you’ll come up with something better than your first idea.

Second, you might find that you can implement many of the solutions at the same time. They’re not all mutually exclusive. 

So, in the case of PPC, you can get more ad impressions and work on improving the click rate… at the same time you’re improving your landing pages, adding an upsell, emailing existing customers…

All these things feed into solving the real problem: how to increase sales.

And, when you do that, you go from being able to double or triple your profits to increases of 500%, 600% or more.

And that’s where the fun is.

All the best,

Steve Gibson

PS Here’s some rock’n’roll trivia for you…

The real reason the Louie Louie lyrics sound slurred is because the singer was singing into the wrong part of the microphone. 

(And it didn’t help that he had braces on his teeth.)

Categories: Marketing